Some people I know now automatically treat anything to do with Miskatonic as a joke because they associate it so much with that sort of stuff (silly Mythos-related departments, team names and the like). That's what damages the genre. Some were put off the recent(ish) 'Miskatonic University' sourcebook because they assumed from its subject and its rather cartoony cover that it was full of this sort of rubbish and wasn't a serious CoC book. I don't think that works in favour of the game, the genre or Chaosium.
How was that book? I never saw it. Did it include Fighting Cephalopods, or a Dept. of Medieval Metaphysics (or other silliness)?
The book, IMHO, is actually very well written. The content is on par with what a Lovecraft-inspired Wanna-be Ivy League university should be. The tone is moderately serious. The NPCs are all there as we know them and expect them to be (from prior HPL sources).... like Dr. Henry Armitage.
No fruity Fighting Cephalopods (that's just a stupid name). They went with a more typical New England mascot: the Badger.
The Department of Medieval Metaphysics is a YES and NO inclusion:
#1) In the official Listing of Programs and Academic Departments, it does not exist. This is in the section for generating first-time MU students and their majors, stats, etc. It is not a selectable Academic Major or discipline.... such as say... Law, Business, Literature, Nursing, or Medicine.
#2) But apparently, there is still a class taught regarding Medieval Metaphysics. The Arab-Turkish-like named professor, Dr. Omar Something is the lone instructor. It's written there that he does teach the class from time to time. Altho since he is nothing more than a visiting professor from Turkey, the Metaphysics studies itself seems transient. It might be there one semester, and then gone the next. And that students such as Asenath Waite are the ilk that have been drawn to such a class. The MM issue could easily be ignored by the Keeper.
The rest of the book is good. The campus environs is well-drawn, and even the neighboring streets, shops and businesses are well done. For example, there is a small tiny garage mechanic shop right across the street from University. The students/investigators can have their motorcycles, bicycles, or automobile flat tires fixed there if needed. But then, it's also closed on Sundays. Well... you know... New England Sabbath Day tradition and all that. The little things like that did enhance the overall mood.
The description of the Underground Tunnels below the Miskatonic University (and really below most of Arkham) is a valuable element. And the fact that there are secret tunnel entrances in places like..... the Temporary Morgue underneath the University Teaching Hospital (next to the medical school) .... it just harkens back to HPL's brilliant works such as Herbert West the Re-animator. It leaves many possibilities for the Keeper, from ghoul lairs to zombies to necromantic re-animation scenarios.
And yes, the cover is misleading. The cover portrays some silliness, and it makes you think that the Miskatonic University sourcebook is going to be Lovecraft Meets Buffy the Vampire Slayer.